TGOC2016 Revisited – Day 1 – Oban to Blarcreen

The festival goers woke me up at 1am.  “Jenny” found something hilarious and spent what seemed like an hour giggling and being told to shut up by her friend.  I wasn’t amused.  However, by 7:30 I was in a much better mood and spent twenty minutes Velcro-ing and un-Velcro-ing, accidentally dropping my pan on the floor, and carelessly slamming the cupboard door.  Oops, sorry girls!

I had breakfast at the Hostel and ate far too much.  Whilst eating, I tried (again) to get the hostel wifi connection to work.  Oh no!  I’ve become one of those people who uses their phone at the breakfast table!

The walk out of Oban and along to the railway line to the North was pleasant and gave views of distant mountains.  The weather was warm and I was walking in short-sleeves with my Paramo smock packed away in the top of my pack.  Plonking myself down at the side of the road, I wondered just how hot this Crossing was going to be.

p1040486I stopped at the pub in North Connel for lunch.  Food planning had been a concern this year as I wasn’t going to many towns or villages.  I would either have to carry a lot of food or take advantage of every opportunity to buy a meal along the way.  So, after a huge breakfast and only 8 flat kilometres of walking, I had a pub lunch and a pint of beer.  Still, it was looking like I wouldn’t need any tea and that would eke out the food I was carrying.

Following the coast eastwards, I stopped off for a wander around Ardchattan churchyard and sat on a bench enjoying the warmth of the sun and the solitude.  A woman arrived to lay flowers on a grave and we exchanged a few words about the weather.  I wondered if it’s only in May that they find strange people sitting outside their church?

At Blarcreen, where I’d planned to camp, there was a huge, flat green area which would have been ideal but – after only one short day of walking – I hadn’t really got into my TGO Challenge frame of mind and I thought that the area was too open and exposed.  I wanted somewhere a little more tucked away and out of view.  I followed the steep road North, which was my intended route for the morning, and found a pitch down by a nearly-dried-up river.  It was not perfect but reasonable and had a very handy tree on which I hung my clothes after rinsing them in the river.  It had been a hot and sweaty day so it was good to have an en suite laundry.

p1040497I like to record my camp site’s exact grid reference so switched on my GPS to get a fix.  Unsurprisingly given my sheltered spot, I didn’t get an immediate lock on the satellites so I climbed back up the hill to a gap in the forest and then spent at least 30 minutes wandering round trying to get a fix.  Eventually I got a signal but it was a tortuous affair – and a warning of trouble to come.

Today’s beer: Orkney Brewery Dark Island

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4 Responses to TGOC2016 Revisited – Day 1 – Oban to Blarcreen

  1. AlanR says:

    You really did have a glorious day there.


  2. Jeremy Burrows says:

    This is a CLASS post, Judith.

    Ooooh … I BET you had fun sorting your gear out … but WHY did you leave it as late as 7.30???


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